Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


The Happy List: Your Cure For A Case of the Mondays

“She wanted to write but the 15 pound cat had other ideas.” – sketch by Donelle Lacy

Happy Monday, Dear Readers. November is a crazy month for me. I’m juggling National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo to its fans) with a hectic journalism schedule, kickboxing, and holiday shopping. Case in point: I’m writing this blog post at one in the morning, right after finishing a journalism article.

But even though I’m gonna need a vacation after this, November has already been a pretty amazing month. Check it out….

1) Almost famous. There’s a very talented artist on Twitter who is doing a different version of NaNoWriMo. Novsketch requires her to complete a certain amount of drawings during the month. She’s been taking her inspiration from Twitter and lines in novels she loves. So far, her sketches have mostly been tributes to the famous, so imagine my surprise when she chose one of my tweets to illustrate. My very first fan art! What I said on Twitter and the resulting sketch can be seen above. I walked on air for the rest of the weekend.

2) Cat Heaven. For me, this really would be heaven. What an incredible story. Thanks to Lorraine James for sharing it.

3) Petjeeja Or Meekhun: Known as The Girl Who Fights Boys, this muay thai warrior is a force to be reckoned with, and she’s only 11 years old! I love to see female athletes break down stereotypes, and Petjeeja has been doing that with a vengeance. To see her in action, click here (if it’s too long a clip for you, just watch her end the fight) or click here to see her show off for a crowd. Unbelievable!

4) The Kickboxer Lives. On the other end of the age spectrum is Jean-Claude Van Damme. This incredible Volvo commercial shows that at age fifty-three, Van Damme is still in mind-boggling shape. Which is especially nice since I keep seeing twenty-five-year-olds whine that their bodies are deteriorating. If you haven’t seen this yet, you have to watch it–it’s truly incredible and inspiring. There is a story going around the net that, while this is a real stunt, Van Damme wasn’t in any danger because he was supported by safety lines that would have protected him if things went wrong. To that I say–who cares? The commercial was done in one take, and this was Van Damme’s first take. If you ask me, that he can do this at all is the point, not the fact that his life wasn’t in jeopardy.

5) Chaise Cafe. If you live in Winnipeg, I recommend this extraordinary restaurant. The food is incredible, the service is friendly, and the prices are beyond reasonable. Whether you want an epic brunch, an exquisite cheese platter, or the best poutine in the city (swoon!), this is the place. It’s become the site of our writer’s meetings from now until the end of time, and we even made a new writer friend there (hello, Dawné!). Definitely worth the trip.

That’s it for the week. What’s making you happy?

Thanks for reading!
1 part newsletter, 1 part unnerving updates,
2 parts sneak peeks of new projects.


  1. Lisa

    Interesting about the restaurant. I’ve walked past that location a number of times this month and just noticed the restaurant last week – I wondered to myself if it was any good…Now I’m definitely going to have to try it out!

  2. Mystic_Mom

    Your list brought smiles to my face! Seeing some cool stuff today was very happy making, supper in the crockpot, critters happy and sunny weather all make me happy happy happy

  3. Holli Moncrieff

    Yay, comments! Comments make me happy. Thanks for being here, ladies.

    @ Lisa: It is awesome. If you like poutine, try their duck fat gravy version. You can’t go wrong. They also have a gorgeous room that you can book for parties. It’s completely free to reserve the room.

    @ MM – I’m so glad the list made you smile! That’s a definite win. You can’t leave me hanging like this, though–what’s in the crockpot? Your list is a good one, too. There’s nothing like happy critters.

  4. Donelle Lacy

    I love your happy list! Also, thanks for the mention! I’m glad you love the sketch. ^_^

    That little girl is awesome and the restaurant sounds great too. What makes me happy this month is all the novsketching I’m doing and all of you for inspiring it. I really like making people happy with my art.

  5. TAH

    Ok, I’m moving to cat island!!!!!

  6. Chris

    Holy crap, those cats are cute! Can we move there?

  7. Holli Moncrieff

    Thanks for the comments!

    @ Donelle: I SO love it! It made my weekend. You’ll have to come visit so I can treat you to some duck fat gravy poutine. 😉 I’m sure you’re making a lot of people happy, which is a pretty noble goal. How many sketches do you have to do in November?

    @ Tah: Meet you there!

    @ Chris: We should make time to visit, at the very least. Can you imagine what would happen if I yelled, “who wants love?” on that island? We’d be swarmed by kitties!

  8. Toby Neal

    Wow, so glad I met you through Twitter. I had to watch the amazing Volvo commercial and I’ve so much respect for people who are both physical.y and mentally developed–I work out every day in the water here on Maui and it’s essential to my writing health! Love your blog.

  9. Holli Moncrieff

    Thanks so much, Toby! Welcome to my blog. I hope you come back to visit–you are always welcome.

    I actually found you through your comment on Chuck Wendig’s blog, read your awesome post and then stalked you accordingly. 🙂

    Wasn’t that commercial amazing? It sounds like you have quite the life. Wanted to move to Maui but it was out of our price range. Planning for the Canary Islands now.

  10. Donelle Lacy

    Yay, duck fat gravy! *likes to try new things, though*

    I’m hoping for at least a sketch a day – so 30ish.

  11. Holli Moncrieff

    Wow, that’s a lot, but what amazing stuff you’ve come up with so far.

    I know, the duck fat thing sounds gross, but it’s actually really good.


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